Tillerson shuns all but conservative website on Asia tour

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Weighing in so heavily on one side of the political spectrum overseas ostracizes many foreign citizens who have traditionally supported strong relations with the U.S., Lee said. "After editorial consultation, McPike accepted the seat".

The State Department Correspondents Association, which represents reporters who cover US diplomacy, said in a statement that it was "disappointed" Tillerson chose to travel to Asia without a full contingent of media "or even a pool reporter". Reuters also notes that McPike does not appear to be filing the pool reports that reporters traveling with the secretary typically file to inform colleagues about his activities.

"We may not share a common view on this, given the makeup of the membership", he wrote, as quoted in the report.

The reporter who was invited on the trip, IJR's Erin McPike, has yet to file any stories about the trip.

For decades, secretaries of state have almost always invited media to travel with them. That personal preference apparently outweighed any responsibility the secretary feels about providing the press with access.

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At the time, the company had an unwritten rule prohibiting employees from wearing visible signs of their political, philosophical or religious beliefs.

The department originally had said Tillerson would not take journalists with him as he was traveling on a small plane.

According to the State Department, while the secretary has access to an Air Force Boeing 757, Tillerson "prefers to travel on a smaller plane" which has no room for the press corps.

State Department reporters are strongly protesting Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's decision to fly to Asia without his traveling press corps. News organizations pay for the cost of the reporters' travel.

Or Tillerson will switch back to a plane that can accommodate the diplomatic press corps, suggesting that the decision with regard to the Asia trip was arbitrary, meant to send a message to journalists: Act more like McPike, and you, too, can have access to the secretary. Another founder, Phil Musser, previously served as executive director of the Republican Governors Association and served in the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the George W. Bush administration.

Instead, Tillerson invited a single reporter from a startup news site with a conservative bent.